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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  CBS  February 28, 2010 11:30am-12:00pm EST

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captions by: caption colorado, llc (800) 775-7838 from washington. "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. "the mclaughlin group" is brought to you by met life. guarantees for the "if" in life. ♪ [music] ♪ issue one, health summit. no deal. >> i think most americans think that the majority vote makes sense. >> majority vote is used here by president obama as code. and that code means two things in this context. one, the health summit did not produce republican/democratic agreement. secondly, democrats will enact the obama health plan without
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republicans. democrats are the majority in both chambers, and the majority rules. the reconciliation procedure, a term of art, can be invoked. this will permit the democrats to install the health plan by a simple majority of 51 rather than a super majority of 60. the democrats can handily turn out 51 majority votes from their 59 senators. question. will the republicans -- were the republicans set up in this whole exercise? >> first, john, the democrats only need 50 votes plus joe biden. they don't need 51 senators. were the republicans about to be set up? they certainly were. i have to give mitch mcconnell credit. he set himself aside let lamar alexander take the lead. he was followed by tomko burn, who did an excellent job. obama was agreeing with some of the points was making. harry reid, i think, blew it for the democrats being partisan and nasty virtually
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accusing lamar of lying. bottom line, john, is they will try to go through reconciliation. they have not got all the votes for sure in the house. this is a bloodbath, the end of any attempt at bipartisanship but will try to get it done by easter. they may or may not. >> eleanor? >> i don't think it's a bloodbath. there are more jobs bills coming. i think republicans will be voting for those. there were 70 votes for a jobs bill that included 13 republicans. i think republicans will pick and choose which bills they go along with. they hear from republicans and they realize they are unified opposition to the president on health care reform was beginning to backfire. so they are looking for their spots to be bipartisan. i think the summit helped both parties. it helped the political process because people watched this, and you see your politicians not acting like clowns. they even managed to get away from their talking points at
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digit times. i think the president is accustomed to being the facilitator. i'd say he did a good job looking for common ground. it does not exist enough to get republican votes, and i think the democrats are now prepared to move ahead. but it's not gonna be easy. it's gonna be harder in the house for nancy pelosi to get her 217 votes and for harry reid to get his 50 in the senate. >> mark, a setup for republicans in the sense that you look like naysayers? >> only in this parallel universe that president obama apparently exists in where most americans favor a majority vote like pat was pointing out. it may have been an attempted setup but it didn't work because they simply don't understand what is going on with the american people now. >> clarence, what do you think? >> well, depends on what interpretation you have of where the american people are. when you talk about an -- and obama mentioned this. when you go down the various
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features of legislation, people buy it. one by one, they don't like the overall thing. they identify with this selfish making process which they did not see at this summit. i thought it might be a trap for democrats. expectations were real high and nothing came out of it, but i think expectations were reasonable. folks said maybe something will happen, probably not. except that you did see and there was a discussion going on. what was really interesting, i thought, was that the rank and file senators and congress people sounded more sensible than their leaders. i thought harry reid didn't come across as great as he could have or nancy pelosi. they sounded more partisan. while you were hearing a lot of good voices come from the republican and democratic side. a lot of agreement was going on. you may not have a bipartisan vote but you saw bipartisanship as far as actual thinking going on. >> so where do we go from here, sir? on health care reform? what's the time line, sir? >> so the question that i'm
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gonna ask myself and i ask of all of you is, is there enough serious effort that in a month's time or a few week's time, six weeks' time we could actually resolve something? and if we can't, then i think we've got to go ahead and make some decisions, and then that's what elections are for. >> is this political strategy brilliant or is it dumb, pat? >> i think obama's gotta do it. i think he cannot walk away from health care and not even get their signature legislation through. so i think they're gonna go for and do battle. a agree with clarence. i thought pelosi and reid dropped the ball, but i thought obama was excellent in the way he handled this whole thing. i do think, john, there is gonna be such a terrible fight on this very fact that the filibuster's gonna be passed over. the fight is gonna come in the
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house as eleanor says. this is gonna get very, very bloody. any sense of bipartisanship goes out the window once you go for the 50 plus one. >> the time line is the middle of april. why would he want to sell the 15th of april, which is also an internal revenue -- >> that's a talking point. >> huh? >> that's simply a talking point. before this summit ever convened, the democrats made a decision that they are going to go through reconciliation. so this is all sound and fury. it's like a beauty contest, but fortunately without swimsuit competition. >> but if it's window dressing it was about rallying democrats. but stiffening the spines of moderate democrats who don't want to take another vote that might hurt them in their district. and by pointing out that the republicans are offering a plan that would cover 3 million more americans and the democrats are offering a plan that would
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offer 30 million more americans. the republicans really don't want to regulate insurance companies so they can't toss you off if you have a preexisting condition and the democrats do. by making that contrast clearer, they're hoping that their guys, the democrats, are gonna be willing to take another bullet for this president. >> john, it's like iran. >> en ott best. >> it's like iran. >> let her finish. >> will be popular in november. >> it's like iran in this sense. obama, we've gone the last mile, tried to negotiate before we bombed them. that's exactly what this -- it shows obama and the democrats having gone as far as they can go and being open and wanted to get that on the record, but i agree, they're going all the way to -- >> majority rule isn't bombing it's democracy. >> when we try to run our judges through that way it was. >> it reminds me of the bush tax cuts that the democrats didn't like and bush -- and people pushed that through reconciliation. >> wasn't it really brilliant
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politically because health reform was a corpse, and he had it -- it was kind of hanging it in the closet hoping that no one would bring it up. he now brings it up. let me finish. he brings it up in the summit context and he moves the center of gravity to the responsibility of the congress notably pelosi and reid so it's over there. it's not attaching to him. do you see it that way? >> part of what you say is true. he clearly wants to show that we're reaching out to these republicans. we're trying to be bipartisan. at the same time, we've got a moderate proposal and a lot of their ideas. i thought it worked for both parties. >> he pulled the corpse away from himself. >> it's not -- he wants it alive. he didn't want a corpse. >> but he had to bring it back. >> he had to bring it back. you think he knew it all the time he was gonna bring it back? >> it's still a corpse and still called obama care.
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>> it is a $1 trillion program,it not? >> more or less, depending on how you count it. >> how are people going to feel around the middle of april if it goes that far? you said he will allow that much time for continued bipartisan effort. >> no i don't think he's gonna allow that. i think this will be over within about two weeks. >> the people don't want that kind of public -- >> no, they don't. >> that's the problem. [ all talking at once ] >> the plan was to deliver the insurance reform immediately upon passage and what obama is showing himself as an activist president fighting against the insurance companies on behalf of the people. i mean, that's the message that you're supposed to take, john. >> i think it was a politically brilliant move, and he was able to move the responsibility of passage away from himself. he gave the corpse to her and now it's on capitol hill. do you see it that way? >> all i saw was republicans saying start over, start over. no matter which side you're on -- >> you mean the blank page theory? >> after that whole year.
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that doesn't sound peeling, either. >> what alexander said this car, they didn't want to buy this model. it's a wreck. [ all talking at once ] >> is this going to be a negative around their neck in the coming election if the democrats drive there through as you say? >> it will be. >> it will kill the democrats. >> they know they're going to suffer anyway? >> they think they are in this other universe where it's gonna help them. >> it will be a no-show if they do not pass it. if they do, they have a chance to convince the american people that they have just passed major reform that alluded harry truman, bill clinton, richard nixon, and that it's a major -- >> the alternate would have been for obama to ignore health, hope that it goes away, bury it with conversation about fiscal responsibility and new programs there. what about that as an alternative plan instead of inviting the trouble that he's now inviting? >> not while the insurance
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company -- >> you mean he had to face up to the health problem? >> you can't run away without a fight, john. >> do you agree with me that he's moved away from himself? >> not at all. insurance companies are still raising premiums, john. 42%, that was the profit raised that major insurers got while everybody else was suffering in the economy. >> do you hear people complaining about that? >> you better believe it, and coverage and lack of it. >> do you think they will complain about that less because we now have a $1 trillion program in place with federal subsidies buried in them? >> that's the thing. more needs to be said about what would happen if we don't have reform. >> who says that the public option has been removed in the fine print there? various subsidies. >> how many rallies have you seen for this health care bill? zero. people going out. if the tea parties want to kill it -- >> help the democrats or hurt the democrats this fall? >> hurt somewhat now and more
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issue two. tea party is tom and sarah. ♪ with tea for two ♪ and two for tea just me for you ♪ ♪ and you for me [music] ♪ >> the race for america is on right now. the president and his left wing allies in congress are going to look at every opportunity to destroy the constitution before we have a chance to save it. >> we have a chance to save it. the we that former colorado congressman and tea party activist tom tancredo is referring to is the tea party. it has already become a major political force. the tea party this week unveiled its declarations of
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independence. one declaration focused on its independence from democrats. "we declare ourselves independent of the democratic party and its power drunk in washington d.c. which is currently question. is the democratic party's agenda under president obama a socialist agenda as stated by the tea party? >> well, john, let's see here. they own general motors. they own chrysler. they own wall street. they want to own the health care system. this is a tree. it's got 46 apples on it. i thtree. >> the funny thing is, these are all doing better now than they were before the government takeover. the government's not in the business of taking over companies, but we under a crisis situation right now. the socialist tag is such a
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great label to throw around that comes out of ronald reagan's speeches from the early '60s. the question is, what's the bottom line? what delivers for the public? >> yeah, ronald reagan called medicare socialism. >> yeah. except by now we'd be a red state. >> i don't see a health care plan that keeps the insurance companies in tact as socialist. i don't see a refusal to nationalize the banks in the crisis that we had a year ago as socialist. i basically see what this president is doing is trying to save capitalism from the excesses that took us to the brink a little more than a year ago. >> all right, look, you've got the federal government and state governments now spend, i believe, by one statistic it was 44% of gdp. i think the more accurate one was 38, 39%. >> gross domestic product? >> eaten up by government and government regulates and controls almost all of the rest of the country by any historic standard we are well on our way
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to socialism. we passed the line. >> what's the gdp today? 15 trillion? >> 14 trillion. >> we're talking 40% of that? >> 40% in you take state, local and federal. federal's three point -- >> okay. >> which part of socialism do you think the people want to give up, medicare, control over the safety of food and drugs? >> i don't think they want the government taking over their health care system. >> okay. more tea party princeps. >> we declare ourselves independent of the republican party which has in the past manipulated its conservative base to win election after election and which betrays everything that base fought for and believed, unquote. question, is this declaration a warning to republicans not to take the tea party movement for granted? >> republicans certainly have to be wary buzz they've already seen a dissension against candidates who aren't conservative enough or who aren't anti-taxed enough but
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republicans have certainly been more aggressive than democrats as far as trying to cool off the tea party movement, get involved in their dick armey and other folks winning over to their side. sarah pailson a heroine of the tea party folks. >> okay. we'll hear from her very shortly. okay, a third tea party declaration focused on the press. "the tea party movement refuses to give false credence to the self-agrandizing self-eluding lie that any part of the state is free of the self-sevenning agendas of those who own them." pat, you can speak to this. is the media bee holden to corporate owners? >> well, look, i work at msnbc, which tends to be somewhat liberal and at & t owns us so they're telling us what we ought to do politically. >> the dragon here with the tea he party i think is rupert.
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>> rupert's got the pop yu louse. the tea party folks are watching his show, john. the tea is the swing vote in american politics. this fall it is swinging toward the republicans, and it swung away from obama in virginia, new jersey and massachusetts. that's where the republicans -- >> do you think they ought to worry about rupert? >> i think fox news is going gang busters with obama in there just like we would be. >> well, you don't see anything in the "wall street journal," do you, that's changed in any significant way since rupert took control of it? >> the "wall street journal" is a neocon publication on its editorial page. >> i'm not talking editorial page. i'm talking news coverage page one and inside. >> actually, the news pages are better, more precise. >> it's a about ther newspaper. >> so you don't see any tilt or sheen that's been added to the ownership? >> murdock didn't buy the journal to ruin it. he bought it because he wanted a new crown jewel in his empire. [ all talking at once ] >> the tea party demos --
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>> hold on, eleanor. the tea party demos. >> a recent cbs poll shed some light on the tea partyers. guys nearly 20% of americans identify themselves as members of the party. tea party views catching on. 56% of americans prefer a smaller government providing fewer services. education. tea partyers have the same college education likelihood as the rest of the country. income. tea party is earning more than $50,000 a year. same likelihood as the rest of the country. race. overwhelmingly white. 95%. party affiliation? sarah palin says independent. >> tea partyers i know, they're independent. they're not registered in either one of the political parties, and they haven't been politically active in terms of
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being obsessively party san one with -- partisan one way or the other but ideals, the platform of the republican party. >> question. nearly 20%, 20% of americans identify themselves as tea partyers. does that figure understate the tea party's political impact? >> absolutely understates the impact of the tea party because, and i talked with tea party leaders all the time. and i can tell you that they represent the advanced wave of an incredible upswing, a tidal wave, if you will, of people who are saying -- >> well, there is energy -- there is energy in american politics today around the tea party movement. it's gotten a lot of attention, and people are saying, oh, yeah, i identify with it. but if you poll them, you see there's overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, affluent and very conservative. not unlike the angry white men who all supported the republican agenda in 1994 and a lot like the perot voters. we've seen this phenomena
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before. >> clarence, do you know any black tea partyers? >> that's not the point, the same emotion that moved black voter toes vote for barack obama you can find the tea party movement. >> what about that 95% white? [ all talking at once ] >> what about that 95% white figure? >> is that really material? >> i don't know. >> look at who was angry last year. look at who was upset when barack obama won. look at who was the most upset around income tax time. it was mostly white ex urbanites. that demographic graive tates. >> -- gravitates. it doesn't mean they are racist. but you don't book tom tancredo as the keynote speaker. >> white american alienated. >> that goes to his point. >> he's exactly right. >> okay. we'll be right back with
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last year, big insurance set a new record -- twelve billion in profits... while 2.7 million more americans were denied coverage. and that's just the start. this month, one industry giant announced plans... to hike premiums thirty-nine percent.
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insurance companies are spending millions to protect their profits. and congressional republicans are standing with them. the question: if health reform doesn't happen... what happens to you?
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